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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The voice of Interior Alaska since 1903

Fairbanks, Alaska

Health The early years INSIDE: • What’s a “well-child” visit? • Checking your child’s development • Asthma, allergies and Alaska • A healthy diet for healthy kids • And much more to help you help your child

Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska

Healthy Body, Healthy Brain

Did you know that what you do to keep your heart healthy, also impacts brain health? Learn the difference between normal aging decline and cognitive impairment as well as how to maintain your brain! Tuesday, Nov. 20: 5:30-7:00 PM Phone: 452-2277 Please R.S.V.P.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

About this section Frequent checkups important during children’s first years

Getting off to a healthy start in life is so important. There’s a lot to do when it comes to the health care of our young Alaskans. The good news for Interior residents is that Fairbanks has the resources and professionals here to help. But it all starts with parents. Parents, whether first-timers or old hands, are the key to a child’s good health. That means paying attention to the whole child — vaccinations, dental care, vision care, developmental assessment, regular checkups, to name a few of the areas. This edition of the semi-annual Health & Wellness publication of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is devoted to topics about caring for our children. It contains lots of good info from lots of Alaska experts. We hope you find it useful and welcome your feedback.

— Rod Boyce, managing editor and father of a 9-year-old daughter 907-459-7585,, Twitter: @FDNMeditor

Contents Frequent checkups ........................................................... 2 Don’t skip vaccinations ...................................................... 4 Resources for parents ....................................................... 5 Allergy sufferers in Fairbanks .............................................. 6 Dentists say less sugar, more brushing ................................ 9 Avoiding sports injuries .................................................... 11 Kids, fruits and veggies .................................................... 12 Snacks don’t have to be unhealthy ................................... 13 Keeping the family active in the winter .............................. 15 Keeping the kids safe around the house ........................... 16 Essentials for your first aid kit ......................................... 17 Work out the brain, too ................................................... 19 The best pet for your kids ................................................ 20 Exercises your kids will love .............................................. 22 7 ways to push healthy eating .......................................... 25 Attention-craving children ................................................ 28 The flu vaccine: What you need to know ........................... 29 Cheerleading needs sports safety rules ............................. 31 High praise and underachievers ........................................ 32 Embracing your child’s differences .................................... 34

By SARAH RICHARDS For the News-Miner Pediatricians recommend that parents schedule children for frequent appointments with a health care provider. These visits are known as well-baby or child examinations, and they allow parents and physicians to track a child’s growth and development. State of Alaska Division of Public Health nurse consultants Marcy Custer and Becky Morisse have worked to educate parents on the importance of frequent checkups. “One of the goals is to start education early in pregnancy so the mother can start thinking about well-baby exams and the child can be established with a provider early on,” Morisse said. Many first-time parents wonder what to expect when bringing their child to a physician. The best checkups consist of a head-to-toe examination. First, a nurse takes the child’s height, weight and head circumference measurements and plugs the numbers into a growth chart. Parents can expect to be asked questions about the child’s health, including nutrition, sleeping habits, milestones and any concerns they might have.

Sam Harrel/News-Miner file photo

Anna Westfall plays with one of the new toys in the remodeled exam rooms of the pediatrics department of Tanana Valley Clinic. Westfall, the daughter of pediatrician Dr. Laura Brunner, was accompanying her mother during an open house of the new facility in 2011. “There’s rapid growth and development during the first year, and there are a lot of immunizations due,” Custer said, “so this is the chance to

keep up on those. If the child gets left behind, that leaves them vulnerable.” Please see EXAMS, Page 4


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012


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Contact Information: 1275 Sadler Way, Suite 202 Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: (907) 452-4101 • Fax: (907) 452-4102














Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Submitted by Contributing Community Authors

Brian Orr, ND and Amy Williamson, RN, ND Fairbanks Family Wellness • (907) 479-2331 3550 Airport Way, Suite 4 • Fairbanks, AK 99701

Immune Boosting Foods and Supplements Staying well while those around you sniffle and sneeze through a Fairbanks winter requires that you load up on the foods and supplements that pack the biggest nutritional punch for your immune system. When it comes to fighting off viral or bacterial attacks, you simply can’t do any better than eating a variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables for the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes they contain. Herbs and spices are at the top of the list of foods with the highest antioxidant capacity. A few that deserve special mention are: • Oregano – one tablespoon has the antioxidant capacity of an entire apple. • Tumeric – an antioxidant that’s 8 times stronger than vitamin C. • Cinnamon – a potent antioxidant and a powerful antimicrobial agent known to kill E. coli and other bacteria. • Cloves – an aromatic winter spice that also has the highest antioxidant capacity of any food tested! Garlic is incredibly beneficial to your immune system because it offers a triple-whammy: it’s antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. One of the best things about garlic is that bacteria, viruses, and yeast do not build up a resistance to it, unlike synthetic antibiotics. Use fresh garlic for optimal benefits. Mushrooms such as Reishi, Shiitake, and Mitake are rich in B vitamins and vitamin C, and they contain powerful compounds called beta glucans which have long been known for their ability to modulate the immune system through a variety of mechanisms, such as binding to white blood cells to activate their antibody properties. If you are serious about boosting your immunity, then adding fermented foods to your diet is essential. Some of the most healthful fermented foods include kefir, kimchi, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, and yogurt. For bacteria and virus zapping supplements, adults and children will both benefit from vitamin D. Have your vitamin D level checked and then supplement until your doctor tells you that it is in the proper range. Vitamin D strengthens the immune system, prevents cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, and helps with winter blahs. A win- win proposition. Zinc and vitamin C are also highly beneficial to the immune system. They help your own white blood cells fight off invaders. Both are available as chewable supplements for children who can’t swallow pills. As with all of our recommendations, consult your doctor for the proper dose. Consider the following immune support recipe: * 2-4 ounces shiitake mushrooms Combine in 4 quarts of water and * 2-4 ounces reishi mushroom let soak for 30 minutes. Cook in * 1-2 cloves of crushed garlic a crock pot for 2-4 hours. Add to * 1 tsp miso paste soups or rice. * ½ tsp ground tumeric * ½ tsp chopped oregano * 4 ounces of vegetable stock

Eric Engman/News-Miner file

Cassie Poulsen winces while receiving her shot from public health nurse Susan O’Toole during a chickenpox vaccination clinic in 2009 at Hunter Elementary School.

State health official warns of danger of skipping vaccinations By SARAH RICHARDS For the News-Miner The 2011 National Immunization Survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluated immunization records in three age groups: toddlers 19 months to 35 months, kindergartners and teens 13-17.

Please see VACCINATE, Page 5

EXAMS: 10 recommended by age 30 months Continued from Page 2

Have a healthy and happy winter! 11405120-11-7-12H&W

Our thanks to Brian Orr & Amy Williamson for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

Alaska ranked low when it came to vaccinating toddlers, with the state coming in 39th out of 50. Kindergartners did better, ranking between 15th and 21st depending on five different vaccinations, but Alaska’s teens were among the lowest of all 50 states. “As a whole, most Alaskans do pretty well

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 10 exams by 30 months, with one per year after that. Babies are seen more often when developing most rapidly so health care providers can catch problems early. “I do feel that it is warranted,” Custer said. “This is kind of the gold standard of what well-child care should be.” Another reason for the visits is anticipatory guidance, so parents should expect a handful of information sheets on

DOCTOR VISITS The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a child see a physician at birth and at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24 and 30 months. After that, the recommendation is for an annual visit starting at age 3.

normal development, nutrition, health, and safety. In addition to your regular health care provider, exams are available at public health centers. A well-child appointment also meets the require-

ment of a physical exam for schools and camps. The visits are free for Medicaid-eligible families through the Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis & Treatment Program, which works to provide low-income children with health care. It also is covered by Denali KidCare. “It gets children seen as they start to develop,” Custer said. “That way, the provider knows the child when they are well, as well as when they are sick.” Sarah Richards is a News-Miner intern and journalism student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

State group VACCINATE offers myriad resources for parents Continued from Page 4


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Please see RESOURCES, Page 6

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Whether it is a first or fifth child in a family, the well being of the newborn is paramount, and every parent keeps a close eye on each stage of their infant’s development, from the first eye contact, smiles and coos, to crawling, walking and talking — continually tracking their child’s progress throughout those important first three years. “Parents are often the first to know their baby needs a helping hand,” is the credo of ACCA (Alaska Center for Children and Adults). The ACCA staff is always ready to extend that helping hand to any and every parent who calls or visits its office located at 1020 Barnette St. in Fairbanks. “We’re here for new parents so they know when to worry and when not to worry, and what to do if there is a concern,” said Susan Kessler, ACCA executive director. “We’re happy to take any call from any parent, any time,” she added. ACCA’s Infant Learning Program (ILP), previously know as Project Teach, is available to turn if parents have questions on whether their child’s physical and psychological development is progressing normally. “What is normal?” is often a question posed by first time parents. The ILP services include developmental screenings and evaluations, usually in a home visit and may follow up with home visits to coach caregivers of infants and children on therapies for appropriate development. The ILP program extends not only to the greater Fairbanks area, but Delta, Copper

getting up to speed with their vaccinations, but there is definitely room for improvement,” said State of Alaska Infectious Disease Program manager Dr. Michael Cooper. In schools, Cooper was disappointed with the high rate of vaccination exemptions, which are granted for religious or medical reasons. “The higher the rate of exemptions, the bigger the chances for outbreaks,” he said. He said the biggest problem are parents who have strong views and do not want to vaccinate.

varicella, hepatitis A, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, human GETTING VACCINATIONS papillomavirus, meningococcal conjugate and influenza • A good time to get immunizations is during well-child examvaccinations. inations. “It is the best chance we • Recommended childhood immunizations include hepatitis have for not only preventB, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, rotavirus, H. influenza type b, ing disease for those that pneumococcal conjugate measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, get immunized but almost hepatitis A, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, human papillomavirus, as important reducing the meningococcal conjugate and influenza vaccinations. spread to other people who • Physicians may sign off on medical or religious exemptions are not immunized or have that allow children to skip specific immunizations. medical reasons not to get • Schedule: them,” Cooper said. He added that adults should stay up“There is a lot of inaccusmart way,” he said. “Look at to-date on vaccinations to rate information that gets cir- good websites and try to use protect vulnerable Alaskans, culated,” he said, pointing to those to base judgment on.” including young children. the theory of a link between Recommended childhood “Never hesitate to ask a vaccinations and autism. immunizations include hepa- health care provider. I would “I encourage people to be titis B, diphtheria, pertussis, rather parents come in with their own advocate and learn polio, rotavirus, H. influenza a laundry list of questions everything they can about type b, pneumococcal conjuinstead of making any rushed side effects, and do it in a gate measles, mumps, rubella, decisions,” he said.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fairbanks can be tough for allergy sufferers with at least 6 percent of Alaskans affected by asthma and 20 percent by allergies. With the highest birch pollen “With our extremes in weather, count in the nation, an array of wild- geography and cultural diversity,” the fires, and likely the most sled dogs website stated, “asthma and allergy too, Fairbanks is not the best place to education is a challenge.” have allergies or asthma. Asthma is a condition that Asthma and allergies affect one becomes apparent with allergic reacin six Americans, according to the tions, irritants or viral infections. Alaska Chapter of the Asthma and The airways in the lungs become Allergy Foundation of America, inflamed and can lead to coughing By SARAH RICHARDS For the News-Miner

and wheezing, shortness of breath, exhaustion and in severe cases, death. “The most common asthma triggers are laughter, cold air and exercise,” said Dr. Tim Foote of the Tanana Valley Clinic. Air quality in Fairbanks is an ongoing concern even for the healthiest of adults, but for a child with

“The most common asthma triggers are laughter, cold air and exercise.” — Dr. Tim Foote, Tanana Valley Clinic

Please see ALLERGIES, Page 7

RESOURCES: ACCA creating questionnaire to check on kids’ development Staff members frequently respond to parents who have River and the North Slope. some sort of developmental Tanana Chiefs Conference concern about a child. provides similar services to A new program ASQ, Ages several dozen smaller Interior and Stages questionnaire, communities. soon will be available online “When a child turns 3 years for parents to use. old, the school district picks “There will be a family porup the early childhood sertal where parents can enter vices.” a child’s date of birth and up “We don’t have all high-risk will come a developmental families,” Kessler said. skills questionnaire that is age Continued from Page 5

appropriate,” Kessler said. “Parents can enter and answer questions and email it back. If there is a concern, we’ll discuss it by phone or email.” There also is a separate social and emotional questionnaire, and parents can fill out that as well if they choose. “The social/emotional questionnaire will bring up any red flags for autism,” Kessler said.

Kessler always encourages parents to talk to their child’s pediatrician or other health care provider if they have concerns about their child’s development. In a nutshell, the ACCA mission is to continue to support and improve the lives of children, adults and families who experience disabilities, provide diagnostic, therapeutic, educational and referral

services, oftentimes working with other community resource agencies. In addition to the ILP program, ACCA has a Loan Closet available with adaptive equipment such as wheel chairs, walkers, etc. for shortterm loan. A speech clinic provides speech/language pathology treatment for young adults and adults focusing on treatment of acquired and traumatic brain injuries, blast-related brain injury, stroke and augmentative communication. The ACCA Fetal Alcohol Community Evaluation Services (FACES) helps children exposed prenatally to alcohol and their families. All services at ACCA are provided without regard to ability to pay. Contact staff writer Mary Beth Smetzer at 459-7546.

Thank you Dental Hygenists Schedule a cleaning today. (907)



Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

ALLERGIES Continued from Page 6

asthma, wildfires, wood stove smoke and idling cars can be reason enough to stay inside. “There’s no question it affects them, but it’s difficult to quantitate, especially in regards to wildfires,” Foote said. The effects are not immediate; it takes days and weeks to inflame airways. “The worst asthmatics leave town during wildfires and peak pollen seasons,” he said. Just as summer wildfire smoke and winter wood stove smoke is rough for asthmatics, the roughest part of the year for those with allergies are the first days of spring. “That is the worst two weeks for children with allergies because just about any child who has an allergy will be allergic to birch pollen,” Foote said.

Eric Engman/ News-Miner file

Aphids crawl on a blossoming birch leaf on a tree in the Graehl Landing Park. With the highest birch pollen count in the nation, an array of wildfires and likely the most sled dogs, too, Fairbanks is not the best place to have allergies or asthma.

Please see ALLERGIES, Page 9


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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Keeping Fairbanks Healthy

D I R E C T O R Y AESTHETIC TREATMENTS S. GAYLE KAIHOI, D.O. Midnight Sun Family Practice 475 Riverstone Way, #5 455-7123 GAIL A. McCANN, R.E. Electrolysis Clinic 479-6011


BREAST SURGERY ARLENE KIRSCHNER, M.D. 3419 Airport Way, Suite B 474-4745


DENTISTRY JAMES R. MIEARS, D.D.S., P.C. RON M. TEEL, D.D.S. 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 211 452-1866 DR. ANDREW WAPPETT, DMD P.C. Family Dentistry 515 7th Avenue, Suite 230 456-8100 EVAN L. WHEELER 3691 Cameron Street, Suite 101 479-8123



ALASKA SLEEP CLINIC 1901 Airport Way, Suite 201 374-3063 FAIRBANKS PSYCHIATRIC AND NEUROLOGICAL CLINIC 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 220 452-1739 HOLISTIC MEDICAL CLINIC 222 Front Street 751-7100

FRESENIUS MEDICAL CARE Joanne Stienel 888-414-3149 ext 105

INTERIOR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER 1606 23rd Ave. 458-1559 INTERIOR WOMEN’S HEALTH 1626 30th Avenue 479-7701 TANANA VALLEY CLINIC Multiple Specialties Available 1001 Noble Street 459-3500

S. GAYLE KAIHOI, D.O. Midnight Sun Family Practice 475 Riverstone Way, #5 455-7123

COUNSELING LAWRENCE A. GOODING, M.S., M.A., PH.D. 600 University Avenue, Suite 4B 479-8545 HOPE COUNSELING CENTER 926 Aspen Street 451-8208 TURNING POINT COUNSELING 374-7776


EAR, NOSE & THROAT CLINIC Doctors Raugust, Tallon, Hammond, Kim and Hughes 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 103 456-7768



GENERAL SURGERY JOHN MAYER, M.D. 1867 Airport Way, Suite 120B 457-5050


HOME HEALTH ACCESS ALASKA 526 Gaffney 479-7940

MENTAL HEALTH NAMI OF FAIRBANKS 565 University Avenue 456-4704

MIDWIFERY ALEXANDRIA MONTGOMERY,ANP, WHNR Specializing is low risk 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 219 452-1622

ALASKA NEUROSCIENCE ASSOCIATES Dr. Jensen – Neurosurgeon 2310 Peger Road, Suite 106 456-3876

OB/GYN PETER D. LAWRASON, M.D. Specializing in high & low risk 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 219 452-1622

OPTICAL GOLDEN NORTH OPTICS Licensed Opticians & Distinctive Eyewear 1521 Stacia Street 456-4822

OPTHALMOLOGY ALFRED DeRAMUS, MD PC Ophthalmology Surgery 4001 Geist Road, Suite 9 328-2920

OPTOMETRY CHAD PERSONETT, O.D. CLEAR VISION OPTOMETRY 1867 Airport Way, Suite 150A 452-2131 MATTHEW RILEY, O.D. CLEAR VISION OPTOMETRY 1867 Airport Way, Suite 150A 452-2131 JOHN COBBETT, O.D. CLEAR VISION OPTOMETRY 1867 Airport Way, Suite 150A 452-2131 COLLEEN PERSONETT CLEAR VISION OPTOMETRY 1867 Airport Way, Suite 150A 452-2131 RICH McKINLEY, O.D. Independent Doctor of Optometry Located in Vista Optical


PHYSICAL THERAPY ADIENT ORTHOPEDIC PHYSICAL THERAPY Specializing in Orthopedics and Sports Therapy 751 Old Richardson Hwy, Suite 202 455-4401 NORTH POLE PHYSICAL THERAPY 157 Lewis Street, North Pole 488-4978 WILLOW PHYSICAL THERAPY 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 222 456-5990

RADIOLOGY NORTH STAR RADIOLOGY MRI, CT, Ultrasound, & X-ray 2310 Peger Road, Suite 102 459-6555 JEFFERY ZUCKERMAN, M.D. FAIRBANKS ULTRASOUND LLC 3419 Airport Way, Suite B 374-4644

VARICOSE VEINS LASER VEIN CENTER – DON IVES, MD Varicose Vein Treatment 1405 Kellum Street, Suite 300 452-8346

WALK-IN HEALTH CARE 1st CARE CENTER No Appointment Necessary 1101 Noble Street 458-2682

WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY JOHN MAYER, M.D. 1867 Airport Way, Suite 120B 457-5050


ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY FAIRBANKS ORTHOPAEDIC Hand, Hip, Shoulder & Knee Surgery 1405 Kellum Street, Suite 101 374-4636 SPORTSMEDICINE & ORTHOPAEDICS FAIRBANKS Cary S. Keller, M.D., FACSM 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 105 451-6561


DR. CHRISTOPHER HENRY Orthodontics 114 Minnie Street, Suite B 457-7878




Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dentists advise less sugar, more brushing

Wellness D I R E C T O R Y

By AMANDA BOHMAN For the News-Miner


DINING IVORY JACKS RESTAURANT Gluten-Free Menu 2581 Goldstream Road 455-6666

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Infancy is no excuse for bad dental habits. Parents need to start a twice-daily ritual of brushing their babies’ teeth by 12 months, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The rate of cavities in children younger than age 5 is creeping up to nearly a third of all children, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The only age group where the rate of cavities is going up is preschoolers,” said Joel Berg, president of the dental academy. “It’s entirely preventable.” Parents need to start brushing their babies’ teeth as soon as teeth start emerging. They should floss as soon as teeth are touching. In addition to starting an oral hygiene routine, babies should see a dentist. Since most children lack the dexterity to brush their own teeth until age 7 or 8, or

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ACADEMY OF PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY Learn more on the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website, www.

when they can tie their own shoes, Berg said, “brushing is something parents have to do.” For two minutes. Twiceper day. Kayla Shearer, a pediatric dentist in Fairbanks, knows it can be difficult for a child. “I know, realistically, for the little ones, it’s not easy,” she said. “Let the kids play with the brush and then step in and get it done. Decay is going to happen when brushing is not happening.” Shearer sees cavities in toddlers’ mouths every day. On a recent Monday, Shearer saw four children younger than 5 who had cavities. A study by the CDC shows Please see TEETH, Page 10

ALLERGIES: Some causes Continued from Page 7

OUR FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY Pick up your Daily News-Miner each Monday!


Features local columns and national news of the week for your well-being


Allergies are caused by the ALLERGY immune system’s reaction to normally harmless substancTRIGGERS es. Symptoms may include • The most common coughing and wheezing, allergies are animal danitchy eyes, a runny nose or der, birch pollen and dust hives. Some people also have mites. trouble breathing after being For a current pollen count, stung by an insect or ingestvisit the Allergy Information ing certain foods. If one parpage at www.bannerhealth. ent is allergic, the child has com. about a 30 percent chance of • The most common acquiring allergies. If both asthma triggers are laughter, parents are affected, there is cold air and exercise. a 70 percent chance the child For air quality information, will be, too. visit “It’s imperative that one is airquality. able to identify what they’re allergic to. That’s powerful information, proactive infor- needs to know his or her enemy.” mation,” Foote said. “One


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TEETH: Tooth decay among 2- to 5-year-olds has been increasing recently Continued from Page 9

the prevalence of tooth decay in children age 2 to 5 years increased from 24 percent in the period 1988 to 1994 to 28 percent in the period 1999 to 2004. The problem is lack of brushing, but diet also is a factor, Shearer said.

Too much sugar is rotting children’s teeth. Too many babies are going to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. “Teeth are exposed to the sugars all night long,” she said. The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends dental sealants for preventing cavities. Dental sealants are plas-

tic coatings applied to teeth to block tooth decay. Having sealants applied costs less than having a cavity filled, the academy points out on its website, Some sealants have come under fire for containing BPA, or bisphenol A, a chemical linked to reproductive

problems in laboratory animals. The American Dental Association maintains that exposure to BPA from dental sealants is lower than normal daily exposure to the chemical from food and environmental sources. Berg, the academy president, who also is dean of the University of Washington

School of Dentistry, maintains the benefits of sealants probably far outweigh the potential risks. “Sealants are extremely effective,” he said. “It’s a lot better than getting drilled and a filling.” Freelance writer Amanda Bohman can be reached at aknewsgirl@

Eric Engman/News-Miner file

Results are apparent on the egg comparison in McCoy Lindquist’s project “Does Fluoride Actually Protect Your Teeth From Beverages You Drink Every Day” during the 2009 Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Science Fair in the Pioneer Park Civic Center. Lindquist, a fifth-grader at Badger Road Elementary School, used raw eggs and eggs with their shells treated with fluoride and soaked each in different sodas, juice, milk and water, then compared the stains on the egg shells.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Give. Advocate.Volunteer.

LIVE UNITED™ 565 University Ave., Ste. 1 452-7211

Eric Engman/News-Miner file

Emerson Favero face plants during a crash while sledding with family and friends in 2011 at the Beluga Field sledding hill next to the Student Recreation Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Proper protection helps prevent sports injuries By DANNY MARTIN

during a recent telephone interview. Said Monica Olson, physical therapist for Equinox Physical Therapy, “We always recomChildren may swing, kick, hit, roll or pedal mend proper gear for certain sports.” during an athletic activity. These actions make According to information from Safe Kids it necessary for them to have the proper proUSA on the National Center for Sports Safety tection to prevent injuries or at least, reduce website (, more than 3.5 the severity of an injury. million children ages 14 and younger receive “In sports like hockey, football and a lot of medical treatment each year for sports injuthe recreational sports, such as rollerblading ries. or roller skiing, using the proper protection The website notes, too, that children in is prudent,” Christopher Dean, head athletic trainer for SportsMedicine Fairbanks, said Please see INJURIES, Page 13

Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes – a serious and deadly disease.

But together, we can Stop Diabetes. raise your hand and make a pledge to act now. Visit or call 457-1557


November is American Diabetes Month


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Make sure your kids get enough fruits, veggies

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Shawna Ragan, LCSW LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER Hope Counseling Center 926 Aspen Street Fairbanks, AK 99701 (907) 451-8208

By AMANDA BOHMAN For the News-Miner

Back to School The start of school can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking time for kids. Providing healthy sleeping, eating, and interactive family time will help make things less stressful while helping to ensure your child’s success. • Set up regular bedtimes: – 3-6 year olds average 10-12 hours of sleep per night – 7-12 year olds average 10-11 hours of sleep per night – 13-18 year olds average 8-9 hours of sleep per night • Increase protein and decrease processed foods in their meals. Eating patterns greatly affect a child’s mood and activity, which will impact social situations. • Spend quality time with your children. The importance of sitting together, playing and talking is often overlooked. Families tend to get busy with the commotion and shuffle of everyday needs. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I had eye contact with my child while engaging in a playful activity?” Parents who engage in special playtime with their kids for 10-15 minutes a day will have better relationships and will directly affect their child’s self-esteem, social skills, and confidence, which will positively impact the child’s school performance and friendships. • Evaluate what you are modeling to your child. If you find yourself constantly rushing your child to get out the door while you try to complete 4 other tasks, you might be modeling poor habits to your child. Allow enough time in the morning or evening routine to get ready without having to constantly nag or lecture. It makes everyone’s day more positive. Each child perceives his or her school experiences very differently. Some kids love being at school while others make frequent comments about not wanting to go to school. Be mindful of your child’s attitude toward school. Kids develop behaviors/beliefs from 3 areas: 1) Genetic make-up - the child’s personality and temperament have great impacts on his or her perception of school. If children are naturally anxious or have a hidden learning disability, their social and learning interactions will be affected. 2) Family – children observe the overall thoughts, feelings, and actions of their parents and family members. Children pick up on the subtlest cues and will demonstrate those beliefs and actions in their own interactions. 3 ) Community- Peers, media, and other social outlets impact children’s attitudes and beliefs, which could alter their involvement with schooling. All behavior has meaning. Often, when children are struggling their basic functioning begins to change, showing an increase or decrease in sleeping, eating, and interacting in relationships. It’s important to watch and know your child’s typical cues to identify when they are behaving differently. Before reacting, ask yourself, “What is the meaning of this behavior?” It could be as simple as lack of sleep, needing an increase of protein in their diet, or needing to talk about a difficulty they are experiencing at school. As adults we often minimize children’s problems as being meaningless – e.g., when they speak of an argument with a peer on the playground or become distraught because they are no longer best friends with “Suzie”. It is important to remember that these are important situations in your child’s life. The best way to show your love and support is by listening to your children and validating their feelings. All people take time to adjust to changes in their environment. If your family has supported your child with the basics of sleeping, eating and family time but your child continues to have problems, don’t hesitate to access help and supports from others. Shawna Ragan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and expert in working with children who have experienced or are experiencing trauma, difficulties with attachment, or behavioral concerns. 18405184-11-7-12H&W

Our thanks to Shawna Ragan for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

Getting at least five servings of fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet is easier than you think, according to dietitian Sarah Stempek. Consider that a serving is only half of a cup. So a half of an apple is one serving. A medium-sized carrot is one serving. “A lot of what we do is reassure parents,” said Stempek, who works for the Resource Center for Parents and Children in Fairbanks. “The goals are actually really easy to reach.” One of the best ways to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables is for parents to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, Stempek said. “It’s huge to lead by example.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that half of a child’s meal should come from fruits and vegetables. And don’t be afraid to be sneaky. “You should never feel guilty about sneaking it in there,” Stempek said. That could mean chopping up or grinding up steamed broccoli or carrots and mixing it into John Wagner/News-Miner file tomato sauce. Or replacing some of the sugar in baked Christine St. Pierre holds her daughter Aviva, 7 1/2 months, goods with apple sauce. who teeths on a stalk of Brussels sprouts, while St. Pierre Jo Dawson, the adminruns the Rosie Creek Farm booth during the final Downtown istrator for the state of Market of 2011. Alaska’s Child Nutrition Programs, said dried fruit is their child’s lunch in favor of also a good option for boostwhole grain bread, fruit and ‘5-2-1-0’ ing fruits in children’s diets. raw vegetables. About 50,000 meals per day Go ‘5-2-1-0’ with your “Kids love raw vegetables are served to schoolchildren kids each day: and they pack really well in 5 servings of fruit and vegvia the state’s Child Nutrithe lunch box,” Dawson said. etables tion Programs. About 1 in 3 children in 2 hours maximum in front A quarter cup of dried Alaska is overweight or obese. of a screen fruit is equivalent to a servThe state along with many 1 hour of moderate to viging of fruit. “It really packs a private medical providers has orous activity punch,” Dawson said. adopted the 5-2-1-0 mantra, 0 sugary drinks About half of schoolchilaccording to Karol Fink, who dren in Alaska eat the lunch oversees the obesity prevenprovided by their school. should avoid packing chips, tion programs in Alaska. The rest carry their lunch to packaged gummy “fruit Please see DIET, Page 13 school. Dawson said parents snacks” and white bread in


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Creators News Service

Snacks don’t have to be bad for kids

Providing a healthy snack for your child also is important to his or her success and self-esteem in school. Supplying a snack for the morning and a snack after school, in addition to lunch, will give your kids the boost they might need to do well.


Kids often have great input. They might have to be guided If you find yourself asking the toward some nutritious favorites, same old questions — What’s but they can help worn-out parents for breakfast? What’s for lunch? get a menu together. Have a brainWhat’s for dinner? — you might storm session around the dinner consider taking the time to plan a table and take down ideas. Work menu. “planned-overs” into the menu to It is quicker in the long run than save time. Making a menu will save running to the store every other you money. day to get something to eat. Everyone can help with menu planning. Please see SNACKS, Page 14

INJURIES: Wearing the right equipment key DIET: Remember ‘5-2-1-0’ Continued from Page 11

When wrist guards are in place, the impact of the fall the same age group account isn’t transmitted directly into for nearly 40 percent of all the wrist joints. sports-related injuries treated Olson also recommends in hospital emergency depart- helmets, elbow guards and ments. Also, the rate and knee guards for in-line skatseverity of a sports-related ers and skateboarders. injury increases with a child’s The importance of a helmet age. can never be understated, Olson has seen a type of whether it’s for sports like skateboarding and in-line bicycling, baseball, softball or skating injury that’s prevent- downhill skiing, or a contact able with a simple pair of sport like football or hockey. items. “Anything you do to pro“We recommended wrist tect the brain from potential support that’s made of a high- injury is always a bonus,” grade of plastic,” Olson said Dean said. during a telephone interview. “A separated shoulder may “When you’re landing on be inconvenient, but it’s not outstretched hands, wearing going to change a life forever wrist guards helps prevent like a brain injury can,” Dean hyperextended wrists.” added. “Make sure the hel-

met fits properly and is used appropriately.” Mouth guards are recommended for high-contact sports like hockey and football. “There research that at least speculates that it might decrease the risk of a concussion,” Dean said. “There’s not a definitive stance at this point, but it’s going to help give you protection for the mouth and teeth.” Shin guards are recommended for soccer, a popular sport among children, and groin protection also is recommended for young male athletes in certain sports, such as baseball, football and hockey.

Continued from Page 12

“5-2-1-0” is a public education tool to remind parents of the daily guidelines for nutrition and exercise: Five servings of fruit and vegetables, no more than two hours in front of a screen, one hour of moderate to vigorous activity and no sugary drinks such as juice and soda pop. “It’s a prevention and a treatment method,” Fink said. Why has childhood obesity become a public health problem? “It really boils down to poor nutrition choices and lack of physical activity,” Fink said. Stempek, the dietitian, said that even children who refuse Contact staff writer Danny Mar- vegetables eventually will eat them if parents keep trying. It tin at 459-7586.

“Keep offering the food. As long as you are offering it, they will eventually eat it.” — Dietitian Sarah Stempek

could take as many as 10 or 15 tries, she said. “Keep offering the food,” she said. “As long as you are offering it, they will eventually eat it.” Freelance writer Amanda Bohman can be reached at aknewsgirl@

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SNACKS Continued from Page 13

Teachers tell me they can tell the “no breakfast” kids. The kids start running out of steam between 9:30 and 10 a.m. and have a more difficult time concentrating and paying attention. That makes it is harder to get good grades. Think of grab-and-go breakfasts if you don’t have time. Look into school breakfasts. Providing a healthy snack for your child also is important to his or her success and selfesteem in school. Supplying a snack for the morning and a snack after school, in addition to lunch, will give your kids the boost they might need to do well. Better nutrition and welltimed meals and snacks can make a difference in behavior, too. Preparing a healthy snack can take a little more time

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Teachers tell me they can tell the “no breakfast” kids. The kids start running out of steam between 9:30 and 10 a.m. and have a more difficult time concentrating and paying attention. That makes it is harder to get good grades.

than throwing a bag of chips into a backpack, but it will be worth it in the long run. Make a batch of muffins or scones in the evening or on the weekend and freeze them for the rest of the week. Yogurt is a great snack, but choose wisely. Read the labels. Some brands and flavors have as much or more sugar than a can of soda. Save plastic containers and put leftovers from dinner in them to send with the kids

the next morning as you are clearing the table. Leftovers or planned-overs make great snacks. If you have leftover peas, you can grate some cheese and gently mix it in the peas with a little mayonnaise. A bit of celery adds some crunch but is not essential. Leftover salmon can be turned into salmon salad. Put it into a little container and send it with some crackers. Fresh vegetables are expensive, but they

are nutrition powerhouses. Send some peanut butter, bean dip or dressing for the kids to use as a dip. Snacks don’t have to be big but try to combine a carbohydrate — something from the grains group, fruit group or vegetable group — and a protein, such as leftover meat, nuts, peanut butter, cheese or beans. You can put all kinds of cooked and canned beans in the blender with different flavorings to make different bean dips that your kids can eat with crackers, bread, tortillas or fresh vegetables. Here is an easy and less expensive recipe for soft granola bars:

cup nuts or sunflower seeds Stir peanut butter, honey and vanilla together until well blended. Add rice cereal, oats, dried fruit and nuts. To make bars, press the mixture into a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan. Cool in the pan. Cut into bars. Hint: The bars hold together better if you use smaller chips and chopped nuts. Instead of bars, try it as loose soft granola. You can package it in individual snack bags so it is easy to take along for breakfast or snacks. By preparing individual servings, you can limit portion sizes to avoid overeating.

With a little planning, you can give your children the NO-BAKE GRANOLA BARS advantage they need to do better in school and at home. 2 cups crispy rice cereal Think how you feel and how cup honey or agave syrup you perform when you are hun2 cups quick-cooking oats cup peanut butter or almond gry. Are you a bit grouchy and less tolerant? Maybe you need butter a nutritious snack too. cup raisins or dried fruit We have a handout through 1 teaspoon vanilla the Nutrition Education Program called “120 Snack Ideas.” Email mkmunsell@alaska. edu for your copy. You also can download the “Choosing Healthy Snacks for Children” publication from the Cooperative Extension website at www. Services, Advocacy, Training, Peer

For more information: 479-7940 •

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Marsha Munsell is a Tanana District nutrition educator for the UAF Cooperative Extension Service and provides free nutrition education. You can reach her at mkmunsell@alaska. edu.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Keeping your family active important during winter By ROXIE RODGERS DINSTEL

system, just move. Dancing, housework and climbing stairs all help everyone stay fit and don’t require extra room or gear. Dance along with your kids to some good music. They’ll have so much fun they’ll forget to make fun of your moves. Try marching, hopping, pumping your arms — whatever you can dream up. • If you are going to play inside, provide gear that won’t hurt anyone. Encourage active play with balls for throwing and rolling. Be sure Please see ACTIVE, Page 16

Teresa Butler, DPT DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY Willow Physical Therapy In the Medical Dental Arts Building 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 222 Fairbanks, AK 99701 (907) 456-5990

Physical Therapy for the Chronic Wound As we age the body declines. Our skin loses its elasticity and becomes easier to tear while decreased mobility limits our ability to care for our skin. Compounding medical issues affects our skin and blood supply leading to breakdown of tissue. These and other problems set the stage for wounds to occur and also contribute to the inability for wounds to heal in a timely manner. In general, the geriatric population tends to have a greater risk for ulcers of the leg. There are four basic ulcers that are found on the lower leg and foot: Neurotropic (diabetic), pressure, venous stasis, and arterial ulcers. Ulcers of the leg and foot will often take weeks and sometimes years to heal. Wounds which fail to heal within 2-3 months are typically classified as chronic. Many factors contribute to the healing process of wounds. Patients who have a history of smoking, diabetes, and heart disease will often experience slower wound healing due to damage of capillaries which supply blood to the area. Other factors such as regular irritation to the area, infection, and poor nutrition will also affect the rate of wound healing. Treatments of wounds should include a team of medical professionals including your doctor, nurse and, if needed, a physical therapist. This team will evaluate the patient and determine the causes of the wound and barriers to healing. With medical guidance, you may be able to perform your own wound care. If that is not enough, a skilled physical therapist can assist. A physical therapist can provide direct care including selection and application of specialized dressings and debridement (the process of removing nonviable tissue which impedes healing.) Preventative measures can be taken to reduce the risk of development of a wound. Controlling and managing blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, diabetes, and other medical conditions to create a healthier body is the first and foremost step. Orthotic shoes, regular inspection and cleaning of the feet in patients with diabetes will help to prevent initial injuries to the skin which may progress into a chronic wound. Physical Therapists who treat wounds can be found online at

Our thanks to Teresa Butler for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


ways to keep your family active: • Seek out indoor places Shorter days and colder to encourage movement. Go weather might make you want walking at the Big Dipper to retreat to the house until or climb some stairs either spring, but it is important at home or in a public place. that kids (and adults) stay Take a swim at one of our active throughout the year. local pools or seek out a basEven though winter weather ketball court to shoot a few can be a powerful inducement hoops. for kids to play video games, • If you are stuck at home, watch TV and just generally be active. Play active Wii hibernate, it is important to or Kinect games, such as make the effort to stay active. bowling, golf or other sports Researchers believe chilgames. The dance games are dren burn about half as many another way to increase activcalories in the winter as they ity. do in the summer. Fitness • If you don’t have a game experts believe that while children tend to eat more in the winter, the larger problem is a decrease in activity. Keeping kids active — the sort of movement that gets a heart rate up — is crucial year-round. Children should be active at least 60 minutes most days, but it doesn’t have to be all at one time. It can be performed in increments as small as five or 10 minutes. Parents should lead by example and be more active themselves. Kids will be more active if parents join them. Also, it must be fun, so pushups and sit-ups probably won’t work. We live in the most beautiful place in the world, but it gets cold up here. By dressing correctly, children can continue to get outside on all except the coldest of days. Dress children in layers, with warm boots, gloves and hats, and they can venture outside each day. Think about family activities like sledding, skiing, building snowmen (or snow forts) and throwing snowballs. It is important not only for the family to get exercise, but also the pets. Bundle up and take a nice long walk with the dog. We all need a dose of sunshine, particularly during the winter to fight depression. If it is too cold to get outside, here are some additional

Submitted by Contributing Community Author


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Keeping your children safe around the house

Submitted by Contributing Community Author

Mary Minor, ND Naturopathic Doctor Holistic Medical Clinic 222 Front Street Fairbanks, AK 99701

experience, products that are advertised as kid-proof should not be assumed to be safe and plenty of benign-looking Every home has a dozens of dangers for small children, objects can be serious risks. A watchful parent is the best but there’s a miracle cure way to keep children safe, for all these risks, albeit one that’s sometimes in short sup- but there is a list of things to consider when evaluating the ply: adult supervision. safety of a house. Meghan Maroney, gives • Outside: Is there a fence parenting advice at the local around a yard to keep kids nonprofit Resource Center out of the street? Are there for Parents and Children as blinds to protect a family’s part of her job as the family privacy? education manager. In her By SAM FRIEDMAN

Is Your Home Making You Sick? Winter is not just cold and flu season. We have all heard the air quality alerts warning certain populations, especially those with lung or heart disease, to avoid going outside. Even healthy people are advised to avoid strenuous activity outdoors on those days. But is the air quality of your home or wherever you spend prolonged time indoors necessarily healthy? With rising oil prices and dropping temperatures most of us do everything we can to keep the cold out and the warm in. Our houses, schools and work buildings can become so airtight that we can make the indoor environment toxic as well. We may not be able to do much about particulates and other pollutants outdoors but we can make the indoor air better. The first thing to watch for indoors is the moisture content. If your home is too dry you may notice lots of static electricity or nose bleeds. A more frequent issue is too much moisture which can cause mold problems. The moisture comes from cooking, bathing or even just breathing. If there is condensation on your windows or obvious mold in the home, then you have a moisture problem which needs to be fixed. Since breathing, cooking and bathing are not really optional, you will need to make sure that your building has adequate ventilation to send that moisture outside. Our homes and work place may also have volatile compounds from carpeting, paints and stains that we breathe in all the time. You don’t need to live in downtown Los Angeles to have carbon monoxide, benzene and other compounds accumulating in your home. If you have an attached garage or live above a garage, those gasses can seep in and, since most are odorless, you might not know there is a problem. If and when Interior Alaska starts switching to gas appliances, carbon monoxide poisoning may be one of those unintended consequences. Having a good carbon monoxide as well as a smoke detector on every level of your home is a good protective measure. Plastics such as shower curtains and compounds found in many aerosols, perfumes and dyes are known carcinogens and have also been associated with hormonal issues in adults and children. While these products are ubiquitous in the environment, there are tests that a health care provider can run to see what an individual’s “toxic load” is. There are ways to help your body get rid of these compounds but limiting your exposure is a good first step. And then there are our beloved pets. To sensitive people their dander can cause a problem. Keeping them out of the bedrooms can help to keep our immune systems from being under constant attack.

Please see SAFETY, Page 17

Eric Engman/News-Miner file

The student body at Woodriver Elementary School joins First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move In Schools!” campaign to set a record for the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period Oct. 11, 2011. The 450 students lined out in the field beside the school, forming the word “Alaska” and doing jumping jacks for one minute.

ACTIVE: Place limits on passive activities Continued from Page 15


Our thanks to Mary Minor for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

• Garages: Are equipment and chemicals out of reach? Garages are a particularly bad place to leave children unattended. • Kitchens: Is there a cookie jar on the top of a refrigerator or in another high place that might tempt a child? Are knives and hot surfaces out of reach? • Bedrooms: Is the crib safe? Is there a railing on the top bunk of a bunk bed?

to choose soft, lightweight ones that are safe for indoors and won’t break anything. Or use beanbags, foam balls, or beach balls and scarves for dancing. Playing with these supports hand-eye coordination, too. • Have a step competition. Buy some inexpensive pedometers and see who can walk the most steps in a day or a week. Everyone gets some much needed activity. • Place limits on passive activities. Television and video games are passive activities. • If it is impossible to draw your kids away from the television, get active during

the commercial breaks. Do jumping jacks, run around the house, or see how many times you can hop on one foot during that three-minute break. It’s important that parents stay positive about activity and that they be good role models. You can’t tell your kids to move and be a couch potato yourself. Make efforts this winter to keep your family active. Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is a professor of extension on the Tanana District Extension faculty. Questions or column requests can be emailed to her at rrdinstel@ or by calling 474-2426. The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Essentials for home first aid and emergency response kits dage, written first-aid direction and an EpiPen, a prescription injector for treating serious If your household doesn’t allergic reactions. already have a first aid kit, “Keep things dry; keep them the most essential items are accessible. Make sure that inexpensive and not difficult to everyone knows where they assemble. are,” she said. Michell Daku, Fairbanks disThe Red Cross does not put trict director for the American oral medications like pain killRed Cross, recommends these ers, Benadryl or anti-diarrhea essential items for either a medicine in its first aid kits home or traveling first aid kit: because it’s not always clear gloves, two sizes of Band-Aids, how a member of the public gauze, tape, small scissors, san- will react to medications. itizing wipes, a triangle banPlease see KITS, Page 18 By SAM FRIEDMAN

• Living room: Are shelves anchored to walls? Is the material on TV age-appropriate? • Bathrooms: Are there slip-proof mats? Are cleaning supplies safe from curious children? Is the water temperature set at 120 degrees maximum to prevent children from burning themselves? In general, the Resource Center for Parents and Children advises parents to be especially careful with small objects because they present a choking hazard and cords (such as for window blinds) that can present a strangulation hazard. Toddlers should not be allowed to sleep on soft surfaces because they risk suffocation.

and potentially less dependable models that use thumb prints or palm prints. For gun owners with many guns, a more-expensive gun safe is the best option because it protects guns from theft, accidents and fire, he said. Telling children to stay away from guns is not an

FIRST AID KIT ESSENTIALS Below are the Red Cross’ first aid kit essentials: gloves two sizes of Band-Aids gauze tape scissors iodine or other antiseptic wipes a triangle bandage written first aid directions an EpiPen

Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545.

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The snow is finally starting to pile up in the yard! We’ve been getting ready for this for months: raking leaves, winterizing the vehicles, splitting wood. Now that we’re ready to enjoy this wintery wonderland in Fairbanks, it’s time to ensure that our kids are ready, too. With all of the snow men to roll out and sled hills to slide down, it’s easy for a kid to lose track of time. As long as we properly prepare our children for the elements, winter can be the greatest time of the year. The first thing to remember about dressing your kids for cold-weather play is to use lots of layers. Outfitting young ones with one big thick snow suit works, but lots of layers holds in body heat better. Layers also increase mobility for those extreme snow angel creations. Start off the layering with a good set of long underwear. Fleece makes a good mid-layer, and pants and a jacket that are both waterproof and breathable make for a great outer-layer. The materials make a difference when layering, too. Cotton is easy to care for, but loses its insulatory properties when it gets wet. Socks made of wool or a good synthetic material will keep those little toes toasty through the longest of snow ball fights. Hats keep the body heat in, too: look for a warm hat that’s windproof and properly covers the ears. A neck gaiter really help in keeping the cold out, and is much less likely to get dangerously caught on items like a scarf would. On the coldest of days, mittens are the top choice for hand warmth. Fingers will keep each other warm as they huddle together, unlike gloves, which leave the fingers to fend for themselves. Thin glove liners are nice to have inside of mittens, giving yet another layer between arctic air and tender skin. Parents are wise to outfit their kids warmly, but our Interior winters can sometimes be too harsh for even the best equipped. Remove kid’s wet clothing as soon as possible, and give them lots of opportunities to come in and warm up with a hot drink. Keep an eye out for signs of hypothermia, such as shivering. And lastly, make sure they’re visible with bright colors and reflective clothing. By following these simple tips, kids will stay healthy and happy during the long winter season.

Our thanks to Robert Warren for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


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Joe Nava, a National Rifle Association instructor and host of Fairbanks radio show Shooter’s Corner, has a few simple rules he uses to keep children safe from guns at home. To avoid accidents, he recommends lock boxes with combination push buttons. These boxes can be purchased at many local outdoors stores and cost between $25 and $200. He’s less fond of fancier

Robert Warren

Cold-Weather Dress Tips for Playground Fun

effective technique to protect them, he said. “I don’t care how good your youngster is,” he said. “When the peer pressure is there and the parents aren’t there, they are going to get that gun and they are going to play with it.”

Gun safety

Submitted by Contributing Community Author FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDIC Steese Volunteer Fire Department

SAFETY: Make sure to keep guns locked up Continued from Page 16



Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

KITS: For home, car

Sam Friedman/ News-Miner

Several first aid kits are on display at the Fairbanks American Red Cross office. Getting instruction about how to perform first aid, including CPR and the use of an automatic external defibrillator, is just as important as assembling a first kit.

Continued from Page 17

However, such items might be useful in a family first aid kit, she said. A home first aid kit should include all of the above and should be part of a larger set of emergency supplies, including flashlights with spare batteries, candles, warm clothing, water (two gallons per day per person) non-perishable food that’s easy to prepare and a radio. It’s also important to have something to keep children occupied and entertained during a disaster, such as coloring books or games. In a vehicle, a first aid kit should accompany other essentials including road flares, chains, a shovel, water and things like lemon drops or gum to keep saliva glands active under dry conditions. The best advice for being prepared on a road trip is to tell someone where you are going before you leave and what time you plan to come back. Getting instruction on how to perform first aid, including knowing CPR and the use of an automatic external defibrillator, is just as important as assembling a first kit. The Red Cross is one of several organizations in Fairbanks that offer such classes. Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545.

From the beginning, our goal was that people living in the Interior wouldn’t have to travel to the Lower 48 to receive the best possible care and treatment. That’s why we built the J. Michael Carroll Cancer Center. Now, every year, 1,000 of your neighbors – like Becky – can be treated and recover with the support of friends and family. Which, we believe, is critical to the healing process.



Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Keep your kid’s brain in shape BY CHUCK NORRIS

Please see BRAIN, Page 20

Alisabeth Thurston-Hicks, M.D. Fairbanks Psychiatric & Neurological Clinic 1919 Lathrop Street, Suite 220 Fairbanks, AK 99701 907-451-8962

How to Use Your Happy Light The season of the dark is upon us, and even a newcomer to the high latitudes like me is well aware of the increased risk of seasonal mood problems like seasonal affective disorder. The months of decreased daylight can exacerbate previously wellmanaged mood problems as well. Lucky for us modern day dwellers, technology now can make the challenges more manageable. Phototherapy lights are available to increase one’s daily dose of intense light, which for sensitive individuals can make the difference between a tolerable winter and a tortuous one. Like any treatment, phototherapy needs to be dosed appropriately and can have both benefits and drawbacks. The intensity of the light is key. A minimally effective dose requires an intensity of 10,000 lux for 30 minutes. Fullspectrum lighting is often more aesthetically pleasing, but the spectrum of light alone is not sufficient. 10,000 lux is a pretty intense amount of light, and for that reason actual photo therapy lights (not just really bright room lights) are much more effective. When purchasing a phototherapy light, be sure to check its intensity in lux, and how close you need to be to the light. The intensity of light decreases with the square of the distance from the light, so being within the recommended range is also critical. Most phototherapy lights will indicate at what distance they deliver the intended intensity of light. This is usually between 6 and 20 inches. You do not have to stare directly at the light, but the light does have to hit your retinas. Some people find intense light irritating. An option is to use a less intense light source for a longer period, such as 5,000 lux for 60 minutes. This is still fairly bright. In general using the light early in the course of the day will also help your circadian rhythm, as using it late in the day or at night is more likely to cause insomnia. Some people will find bright light causes headaches. Individuals with bipolar disorder can have manic episodes induced by phototherapy, although phototherapy is not an absolute contraindication in bipolar disorder. While vitamin D supplementation can also help mood in the winter months, and while sunlight helps your skin produce vitamin D, phototherapy helps mood via a different mechanism. The two methods can supplement each other in the low-light months.

Our thanks to Dr. Alisabeth Thurston-Hicks for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


Q: Chuck, sometimes I think my kid’s brain is Jell-O. It’s so frustrating at times just to try to get him to think. Any suggestions? — “Going Crazy in the Cranium” in Colorado A: Being the father to seven children, I empathize with your struggle. But the first thing we need to remember about our children’s brains is that their substance is the composite of genius, not Jell-O. In the article “The WholeBrain Child: An Effective Approach to Parenting,” RifNews-Miner file photo ka Schonfeld, an acclaimed Studies show that memory improves with the extracts of educator and education blueberries and strawberries, among others. consultant, said: “The more we know about how our children’s brains work, the better we will be able to nurture stronger, more resilient children. Not only that, but it can make parenting easier and more meaningful.” As I’ve covered children’s health, I’ve addressed childhood obesity, promoting good eating habits and fun exercises. Now, I want to talk about brain fitness, particularly as it applies to children. Just as our bodies need nutrition and exercise, our brains do, too. Do you want your child to do better in school? Want him to be more attentive at home? Then closely examine what he is eating. Experts say that certain “brain foods” can help bolster a child’s brain development and growth, including improving memory and concentration. A few years ago, Bethany Thayer, a nutritionist from the American Dietetic Association and the director of health and wellness at the Henry Ford Health System, explained to WebMD that the brain is a very hungry organ and the first to absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Thayer was consulted by Jeanie Lerche Davis — a featured writer for the University of Texas M.D.

Submitted by Contributing Community Author


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

BRAIN: A good diet helps keep your brain in tip-top shape Continued from Page 19

Anderson Cancer Center, the Texas Heart Institute and the American Cancer Society. Davis wrote an excellent treatise for WebMD, compiling a list of the 10 best foods for kids to eat to help their brain fitness and function:

1) Salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are “essential for brain growth and function.” 2) Eggs. They are “packed with choline, which helps memory development.” 3) Peanut butter. It’s a good source of vitamin E, which protects nervous

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membranes, and thiamin, which helps the brain and nervous system use glucose for energy. 4) Whole grains. They are rich in glucose, fiber and B vitamins — all vital for optimal brain function and a healthy nervous system. Fiber regulates glucose dissemination, so it is good for sustaining energy through the morning or afternoon. 5) Oats. They are full of fiber, vitamin E, B vitamins, potassium and zinc — all great for brain function, especially early in the morning as a child starts the day. 6) Berries. Studies show that memory improves with the extracts of blueberries and strawberries, among others. 7) Beans. They are a great afternoon food for kids, as they provide great energy from protein, complex carbs and fiber, plus many vitamins and minerals; kidney and pinto beans have more omega-3 fatty acids than others. 8) Colorful veggies. Deep-colored ones — such as sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach — are great sources of antioxidants, which keep

brain cells healthy and strong. 9) Milk and yogurt. Dairy foods are great sources of protein and B vitamins, which are critical for the growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters and enzymes. 10) Lean beef. It’s a great source of iron — a mineral that helps kids stay energized and concentrate. (For vegetarians, spinach, black bean burgers and soy burgers are good iron substitutes.) And what about cookies, candies, sugary cereals, sodas and french fries? Thayer replied that if you give the body junk food, “the brain is certainly going to suffer.” I would add: So will the parents. So the next time you’re buying groceries or wanting to improve your child’s thinking, remember this proverb: We need brain food more than we do belly food. Write to Chuck Norris (info@ with your questions about health and fitness. Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook’s “Official Chuck Norris Page.” He blogs at http://chucknorrisnews.

Finding the best pet for your kids By GINNY FRIZZI Nothing is cuter than looking at your baby snuggle up with your favorite pet. How well these two members of your household get along, however, is in large part up to the adults. “Babies and pets can go together like cookies and cream or chocolate on pizza. The pairing can be wonderful or just not go together,” said Rachel Friedman of A Better Pet, which teaches people how to teach dogs. “Babies take naturally to pets; both the pets and children simply need to be taught the acceptable ways of treating each other,” said Jennifer Simmons, a blogger Please see PETS, Page 21

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Dog trainer Joan Hunter Mayer recommends choosing a dog that is well-socialized toward people of any age, size, gender or appearance. If parents already have a dog, they should be sure to take the time to socialize it to people, including children and babies.

PETS Continued from Page 20

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and breeder of Finnish Lapphunds. “Children need to be careful not to hurt or frighten the animal, and the pets need to learn to be gentle with the child. In my experience, cats tend to keep their distance from children, whereas dogs become their sidekick and playmate.” Simmons advises people to get the dog first and spend adequate time — perhaps a year or two — training the pet and bringing it to maturity. “With a baby in the house, it is a long time before there is sufficient spare time to give a puppy the amount of attention it needs. I would never place a puppy into a home with a new baby. There simply wouldn’t be enough time for both,” she says. Dog trainer Joan Hunter Mayer recommends choosing a dog that is well-socialized toward people of any age, size, gender or appearance. If parents already have a dog, they should be sure to take the time to socialize it to people, including children and babies. She warns that all dog breeds

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As a psychiatrist I often face this question. Some of my patients ask the question directly. More often they ask indirectly. They want to know what to expect from treatment when they have asked for help with depression, or mood swings, or anxiety or anger. It’s a fair question for any physician. My focus here is specific to a person’s emotional state rather than their behavior. Of course emotional state relates to behavior, but assessing normal behavior is a more complicated task suited to a longer discussion of its own. Emotional suffering is really not so different from physical suffering. To illustrate the similarities I like the example of a broken toe. If you’ve had one, you know that the sensation of pain dictates your behavior for a while. You guard that toe. You walk funny, maybe even without a shoe. Your toe is constantly in the forefront of your mind. You may be surprised at how important a role that toe plays in day-to-day functioning. Gradually the pain lessens. You wear a normal shoe but still limp a little, still protect that toe. You forget and bump it sometimes and the pain brings it right back to the front of your attention. Eventually the toe heals. You forget about that toe. Normal, in the case of your toe, is surprisingly boring. The toe does what it’s supposed to do. It is just there. It doesn’t get in your way. It assists your behavior but no longer dictates your behavior. If I were to ask you right now how your right big toe feels, you would probably say, “Uh, fine,” and think I was a little odd for asking. Emotional pain is much the same. When things are normal, emotions don’t get in your way. They don’t dictate your behavior. They don’t interfere with your day. They don’t demand your attention all the time. They are just there, giving you feedback about your environment quietly and efficiently, assisting your behavior without dictating it, enriching your life without overwhelming it. Like the broken toe, some emotional pain will resolve on its own with time and care but other cases need professional help. Making the decision to contact a professional may be difficult, but most of us need help at times. It may be the best thing you can do for yourself if you are struggling with emotional pain.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

PETS: Consider the breed, temperament of animal beforehand who are looking to purchase a dog. have the potential to chew, “A mastiff and a baby bite, chase, jump and nip, but might look cute together, but some breeds are likelier to you shouldn’t take risks like do those things than others. that,” Mayer said. “You don’t So parents-to-be who already blame the dog. It doesn’t own a dog should review know how to respond to their breed’s general traits. another animal. If a person The same applies to parents has a young baby who will Continued from Page 21

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need lots of time and care, then having a puppy will be equivalent to having a second baby. The person might want to consider adopting a dog that has a lower energy level and exercise requirement.” Simmons says: “Babies and pets can go together beautifully, but I would always advise families to choose their breed carefully. Some breeds of dog and cat can be jealous and take their frustrations out on a baby. I always advise people never, ever to leave a child alone with any dog, regardless of breed or how steady the temperament.” Mayer said, “If you are looking to keep a baby completely safe, then I’d have to say the ideal pet would be one where they don’t interact at all, such as a goldfish.” Syndicated humor columnist Katiedid Langrock and her husband have given the subject consideration, even though they are not yet parents. They were considering a potbellied pig, which can be trained to go in a litter box. They did their research, which led them to change their minds. “We got all the informa-

tion we could about potbellied pigs. We searched different websites, including that of the California Potbellied Pig Association, so we would know what we were getting into,” Langrock said. They found that pigs, though intelligent, are pack animals and can be aggressive. “It would be cool to have a pig, but after researching, I learned that they get threatened by babies because they see them as the new member of the pack and an automatic alpha member, at that,” Langrock said. “There have been too many documented cases of house pigs attacking newborns. They don’t recommend buying a pig until your youngest child is about 7 years old, so maybe we will re-broach the pig topic down the line.” Langrock and her husband settled on a 20-pound Flemish giant rabbit — named Pig, of course — who is litter box-trained and kept in the kitchen during the day. “He is a nice pet and would be good around a baby. And we do have a Pig, just a different kind from what we first imagined,” she said.

Exercises children will love BY CHUCK NORRIS Q: Mr. Norris, my child eats OK because, as her parent, I make sure of it. However, I can’t get her to exercise to save my life. What do you do to motivate a couch potato kid? — C. Duval in La Jolla, Calif. A: In this column, I want to tackle some exercises you don’t have to work hard at getting your children to do. In fact, they won’t be able to resist these opportunities for elevated aerobic exercise. The headline of one recent news report on the status of children’s health said, “Inactivity is US kids’ biggest health problem, poll says.” No doubt their inactivity has been influenced by streams of digital and Please see EXERCISES, Page 24

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EXERCISES: Limit time with electronics And activity doesn’t have to mean intense workouts, especially for children. In the electronic equipment, which Mayo Clinic’s “5 medicationdon’t make them expend free strategies to help prevent much physical energy at all, heart disease,” it says, “Try apart from moving their fingetting at least 30 to 60 mingers and sitting on their derutes of moderately intense riere. physical activity most days of One friend said to me, “If it weren’t for the fact that the the week.” The question with kids is, TV set and the refrigerator how? are so far apart, some of us First, you’ve got to put wouldn’t get any exercise at limits on their use of elecall.” tronic devices and time spent Well, if inactivity is the using social media. Handing diagnosis, activity is the prea child a cellphone or gaming scription. Continued from Page 22

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device without time boundaries and then not encouraging his extracurricular activity is a recipe for creating a couch potato kid. Certainly, as kids age, we want to teach and encourage their discipline in good eating habits and proper exercise — whether they like them or not. But in order to capture their mind, heart and bodily energy, why not create a physical fitness world around playtime? Here are just a few classics that come to mind: hopscotch, wheelbarrow races, red rover, tag, hide-and-seek, capture the flag and kickball. Want to entice your kids to engage in them? Buy the chalk for hopscotch, a ball for kickball, a basketball and hoop, a badminton or volleyball set, a pingpong table, or some skates (roller or ice), and of course, there’s nothing better than a good ol’ bicycle. Another alluring idea is to create a competition among their friends for some prizes — e.g., yummy, healthy desserts, fad prizes, a night of laser tag or free entrance to a movie. Or buy some trophies for some competition awards, and encourage your kids to

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(free-standing) swimming pool leads to a number of water games, which are resistance exercises. Look around your neighborhood and get creative. Some people build community treehouses or tree swings into lakes or rivers. One neighborhood I know of helped their kids to create a bike track, where the kids would congregate every afternoon for races. You can bet that will get their hearts racing, too.

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have an award presentation at the end of their tournament. Throw in a little music during the competition and you’ll likely ratchet up the competitors’ energy and performance. Another option is to buy your kids some outdoor play equipment. Not so pricey are Frisbees, footballs, kickballs and beach balls. A little more pricey but just as effective is playground equipment, including slides they have to climb up to, swings they have to sway on and bars they have to pull up to. A doughboy

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Limiting your children’s use of electronic devices and time spent using social media can help your child stay active. Handing a child a cellphone or gaming device without time boundaries and then not encouraging his extracurricular activity is a recipe for creating a couch potato kid.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012


7 ways to push healthy eating BY CHUCK NORRIS

Of course, signing your kids up for sports is always an excellent option. Examples include soccer, baseball, basketball, football, hockey and tennis, or how about martial arts? I guarantee that last one will keep them in shape! There also are all the seasonal activities, such as waterskiing or snow skiing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and snowshoeing; even snowball fights can work up a great sweat. Anything that gets your kids active and their muscles moving and heart pumping for 30 to 60 minutes a day will do the trick. And the added benefit is that many of these fun

activities or sports can become family bonding times, as well, as you rally around one another to cheer one another on. Exercise doesn’t always have to be hard work. It can be fun work. Discover the activity that is popular among your children’s age groups, and then encourage their participation. Odds are they can find at least one activity at every age that they will enjoy while they exercise. Write to Chuck Norris (info@ with your questions about health and fitness. Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook’s “Official Chuck Norris Page.” He blogs at http://chucknorrisnews.



(907) 452-1739 PSYCHIATRY Ronald A. Martino, M.D. Alisabeth Thurston-Hicks, M.D.

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Nicole Soto, M.D. Dermatologist Tanana Valley Clinic 1001 Noble Street, Fairbanks (907) 459-3586

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Winter Skin Care Winter in Fairbanks can be described in two words: dry and cold. These extreme environmental conditions can have effects on even the healthiest skin. This harsh environment alone or in combination with wetting/drying of the skin during bathing or swimming can break down the natural barrier function of the skin. Exposed skin on the face, especially the eyelids and lips, can dry out quickly and become chapped, cracked, and irritated. If prolonged, this skin breakdown can progress into eczematous dermatitis with redness and itching. Our hands are also at risk, not only from the cold, dry air but also because we tend to wash our hands frequently with soaps that also wear down the skin’s natural protective barrier. To keep our skin healthy and well-protected, we can follow some simple daily guidelines: 1) Use a gentle bar soap such as Dove or a non-soap cleanser such as Cetaphil cleanser on the face/hands/ body. 2) Avoid using anything other than your hands to apply the cleanser. Washcloths, “puffs”, and loofah sponges only strip away the protective oils and contribute to further irritation. 3) Keep the water temperature turned down to WARM, not hot. Hot water will increase itching afterwards and further dry out the skin. 4) Within 3 minutes of turning off the shower, apply a thick emollient cream or ointment to the skin to seal-in the moisture gained during the shower and prevent evaporation. This also will protect the skin from irritants (potentially anything that comes into contact with the skin, including our own sweat). Pump-bottle lotions are generally too thin and evaporate too quickly to effectively protect and keep the skin moisturized. 5) If you prefer baths, do not use bubble bath or bath salts, only a bath oil in the water (but be careful getting out, oils can make the tub slippery). Another tip is to moisturize the eyelids and lips at night, or if needed during the day, with a bland emollient such as Aquaphor ointment, Vaniply ointment or White Petrolatum Jelly. These are very soothing and will not burn irritated skin. If you still have trouble with dry skin, or there is prolonged redness or itching, you may need evaluation by your primary care physician or a dermatologist, who specializes in conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. Our thanks to Dr. Nicole Soto for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.

17403799 11-7-12H&W

Please see HEALTHY, Page 26

Continued from Page 24


Q: Chuck, with our children bombarded with fast foods and junk foods at their school and their friends’ houses, how can we as parents and guardians promote their good eating habits without spoon-feeding them every good food? — Roxy R., Arizona A: A while back, Amanda Chan and Remy Melina, writers for MyHealthNewsDaily, did a nice job discussing some direct and not-so-direct ways for parents to nudge their kids into not eating the fudge. Let me cherry-pick some of their advice and elaborate on a few others. 7) Don’t just junk the junk food. “Never” is a big word for anything. Sugar and salt addictions aren’t overcome overnight. An occasional treat might be a just reward for doing well all week long. And the treat doesn’t have to be three candy bars. We know friends who give frozen yogurt nights to their kids for getting good grades and other special occasions. And introduce some not-so-sugary desserts into their diets — e.g., air-popped popcorn, dark chocolate, health food bars, nuts and fruit. 6) Empower your children to eat well at school. Because my wife, Gena, and I homeschool our kids, we have much more influence over their diets. If your kids go to public schools, the safest bet is to make and pack your kids lunches. If they’re older,

EXERCISES: Fun options


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

HEALTHY: Train kids to eat only until they are full to prevent overeating Continued from Page 25

give them the duty of packing healthier options at home — what they need and like, but not everything they want. Cafeteria food generally has gotten better throughout the years, but I wouldn’t call it a walk through the health food store. Regularly examine your kids’ school lunch options. If your child is younger, don’t turn him loose with money by a vending machine or in an a la carte lunch line, lest he get a box of cookies and greasy fried foods in his stomach every day. If your child is older, turn her school lunch into a lesson about her choosing the right foods. Here again, don’t be afraid to do a little bargaining: “If you eat well during the week, on Sundays after church, I’ll treat you to (blank).” 5) It’s your kitchen; you pick the foods that fill your refrigerator and cupboards. It’s difficult for me to listen to parents complaining about their kids’ weight or lack of fitness when they fill their cupboards with every bad food imaginable. Similarly, if you are taking the family out to eat and ask your 4-year-old where he wants to eat, you might as well

tongues and stomachs. Many Americans eat what they want “Do not urge (your children) to finish all and do so until they are stuffed beyond measure. But eating the food on their plate, and do not praise until you’re full not only is the opposite of what most people them for completely clearing their plate. around the world do but also can lead to unhealthy overeatInstead, tell them that it’s best to only ing habits. Michael Pollan, author of eat as much as they want at that time, “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” said: “Many culand that the leftovers can be finished tures have rules that you stop eating before you are full.” later when they become hungry again.” For example, the French diet focuses on a few basic Europe— Amanda Chan and Remy Melina, an eating habits: Eat for nutriwriters for MyHealthNewsDaily tion, not just to be full. Learn to enjoy good foods, not just sweets and fatty foods. Learn to taste longer, not just chew more. And slow down your pace drive to your nearest fast-food ting on the refrigerator shelf of eating. restaurant. Simply put, it’s a plate of small celery sticks Pollan added, “In Japan, your money; it’s your kitchen; with peanut butter or a plate they’re your kids. You buy the with whole-wheat crackers and they say eat until you are fourfifths full. (Arab) culture has foods you want your kids to cheese. Health food bars and a similar rule, and in German eat, or they don’t eat. It’s called nuts in one-serving packages parenting. are another great option. Last- culture, they say, ‘Tie off the sack before it’s full.’” 4) Have quick, easy-access ly, whether it be in bottles or That is why Chan and Melinutritional treats available refilled containers, offer copibetween meals. Produce areas ous amounts of water ready to na wrote that if your children’s plates are stacked full enough in groceries offer wide arrays grab and drink. That not only of vegetable platters already keeps children away from sug- for an adult, “do not urge them cut and ready to go. Baby carary drinks but also keeps them to finish all the food on their plate, and do not praise them rots and sliced apples are not hydrated with God’s natural for completely clearing their offered in small one-serving juice. plate. Instead, tell them that bags. Always make a plethora 3) Help your children train it’s best to only eat as much of fruits available. Have sit(or retrain) their palates, as they want at that time, and that the leftovers can be finished later when they become hungry again.” 2) Eat smaller portions by reducing the size of your utensils, plates, etc. As I pointed out


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in last week’s column, more than 78 million adults and children in the U.S. are obese or overweight. Most of us are used to eating from large plates or bowls, with large spoons, large forks and 32-ounce glasses. We have supersized not only our meals but also our utensils. One strategy to control portions and improve fitness is to reduce the size of those things with which we eat. It really works, and it has been proved over and over. I’m not saying that you have to convert to a shrimp fork and an egg spoon, but anything in that direction would help you and your children. 1) Slow down and eat with your children. One recent journal study noted that in 1987, 50 percent said they ate at least one family meal per day; by 2008, that fell to 20 percent. So slow down and eat with your loved ones. The art of cooking needs to return to American homes, and so does eating together. Sitting down for meals with your family not only improves eating habits and ensures proper nutrition but also reduces obesity patterns in children and provides for daily times of interaction and relationship building.


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Our thanks to JOANNE UNANGST for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


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Did you know that our skin can absorb up to 60% of any chemical that is put on it? And that chemical goes directly into the bloodstream? If you are one of the many people that have made the switch to consuming organic foods in order to keep harmful chemicals out of your body, have you ever thought about what might be lurking in your daily beauty regimen? While the FDA regulates foods and drugs, they do not regulate the ingredients that go into our beauty products. In fact, there is not a government agency in existence in the United States that regulates the ingredients in cosmetics and hair care products! There are rules about how they are labeled and packaged but that is all. Some of the common chemicals found in hair care products and cosmetics include: parabens, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate. Sodium lauryl sulfate has been closely linked to cancer in many scientific studies. Formaldehyde is commonly found in many keratin treatments that are not organic. Thioglycolates are all commonly found in permanent wave products. Ammonia, Toluenen-2, 5-diamine sulfate and resorcinol are found in hair color treatments. Would you willingly ingest formaldehyde or ammonia? Then why would you put it on your skin (which we know can absorb up to 60% of the chemicals it comes in contact with)? Organic hair care can be an easy step in your everyday routine that helps limit the amount of toxins you encounter on a daily basis. There are now organic shampoos, conditioners, styling products, permanent waves, hair color, high-lift hair lightening products, formaldehyde-free keratin smoothing treatments, and cosmetics. These organic products are better for consumers, the beauty professionals, and also for the environment. To find more information on toxicity levels in your hair care products’ ingredients, simply do a web search for cosmetic safety databases, then decide if organic hair care is right for you.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Attention-craving children need positive reinforcement BY SYLVIA RIMM Q: My 8-year-old is attention-addicted. How do I address his attention demands without feeding the addiction in such a way as to perpetuate it? A: It’s true that children who search for constant attention can become quite annoying and typically are far too dependent. All children obviously love a certain amount of positive attention, and they are entitled to it. It’s possible to give the right kind of attention without feeding the addiction and here are a few tips for doing that: 1. Give your attentionaddicted child one-to-one

positive attention for a few minutes every single day. Bedtime is often a good opportunity because children love to talk to parents rather than go to sleep. He’ll be really appreciative and even tell you important secrets before bedtime. (You might feel too tired to listen, but try your best.) 2. Praise behaviors that show independence and perseverance. Also comment to your partner, friends or relatives, within your son’s earshot, that he’s getting more independent and becoming more confident. I call this referential speech, and it’s a powerful parenting tool. 3. Feed his love of attention by giving him performance opportunities in

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drama, music or art. If he’s worked on something positive, he can earn your appropriate attention. Here are a few examples: Let him read aloud stories he has written. Post pictures he has drawn in a prominent place. If he takes instrumental lessons, and practices independently daily, he could give the family a brief concert every week. He could write a play and direct his siblings in a small family production. 4. Encourage your son to engage in acts of kindness toward his siblings. If your son’s attention getting has taken a negative turn, like aggravating a younger sibling, take him aside and have a talk about how he could really be helpful and kind to

Give your attention-addicted child oneto-one positive attention for a few minutes every single day. Bedtime is often a good opportunity because children love to talk to parents rather than go to sleep.

his sibling. Tell him you’ll be watching for his acts of kindness and will signal when you notice them. This will redirect his negative attention demanding behavior toward something far more positive

and will build more loving sibling relationships as well. 5. Suggest that your son’s teacher be intentional about giving him five minutes of positive private attention a week to help him become more independent. The teacher also could establish independence as a class value and praise students casually as he/she sees it developing in the class. Occasional opportunities for class leadership or helping other students will enhance your son’s confidence and give him an appropriate outlet for attention. Attention addiction is a common problem for first children, first grandchildren, verbally or musically gifted children and only children. Also, babies of the family who are far apart in age from the older children are at risk of becoming center stage. Once these attention-addicted children establish confidence and independence and find positive areas in which they can collect and attract the right kind of attention, they often become successful and happy and you will be able to thoroughly enjoy them again. Dr. Sylvia B. Rimm is the director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the author of many books on parenting. More information on raising kids is available at www.sylvia Please send questions to: Sylvia B. Rimm on Raising Kids, P.O. Box 32, Watertown, WI 53094 or


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Report sheds doubt about common flu vaccine wisdom By RONI CARYN RABIN The New York Times


Richard C. Brown, Jr., M.D. Boys and Girls Home of Alaska, Inc. 3101 Lathrop Street Fairbanks, AK 99701 (907) 459-4700

Hints for a Happier Holiday Season Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Angliq Alussistuaq! No matter what the greeting, this is the time of year that most cultures choose to celebrate religious beliefs, close friendships and family traditions. Unfortunately, the Holiday Season can be one of joyous times, or one of the most stressful times of the year. It can be a period of considerable emotional upheaval. Here are a few tips that just might be helpful as you enter this Holiday Season. 1. Plan ahead. Whether the plans be travel, large family gatherings, or maintaining long-held family traditions, your best ally is to plan “ahead of time.” Decide early what are your intentions and the steps you need to get it done. There is nothing more frustrating than “rushing” to find that last minute food product; “not finding” that special gift item; or “having your family members’ seating” scattered throughout an airplane.” 2. Make “decorating” a family project. When creating your personal Holiday Wonderland, inclusion of the whole household creates a special hominess that all the members enjoy. Creating “new ideas” or re-establishing “decorating traditions” will provide “years of memories” for each member of the household. 3. Establish and hold to financial limits. Gift giving and holiday party planning is always something everyone looks forward to. Gifts are tokens of “Love and Acknowledgment” and parties are ways of sharing your joy. The pressure of “cost” and “presentation” can often place strain on one’s finances; say nothing of the “emotional toll” on your self-esteem. 4. Look for the “celebration.” Celebrate “family traditions” and “triumphs” which have made the past year special. Many times when families or groups get together, the focus can turn to “loss and/or upsets.” See the holidays as a time of appreciation rather than regret. Look forward NOT backward. 5. Share with Others. Nothing can be more rewarding than knowing that you have “made someone else’s life” brighter. Financial donations, volunteering at the local shelter, baking “holiday treats” for friends and colleagues, or just shoveling that elderly neighbor’s walk can uplift your holiday spirit. Whatever your holiday plans should be, give yourself time for rest and recuperation. This is an emotion filled time of the year. If you find yourself having difficulties, there are various ways you may receive help; from local religious leaders to professional counselors or physicians. Make this your best holiday yet!


Our thanks to Dr. Richard Brown for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


rorism and public health prea “a pro-vaccine guy,” Osterparedness adviser to Tommy holm said. Thompson, the former health “I say, ‘Use this vaccine,’” It’s flu-shot season, and and human services secrehe said. “The safety profile is public health officials are tary, he served on the interim actually quite good. But we urging everyone older than management team during a have oversold it. Use it — but 6 months of age to get one. transition period at the CDC just know it’s not going to Many businesses provide onin 2002. work nearly as well as everysite flu shots, and some hospi“I’m an insider,” Osterholm one says.” tals have told staff members said. “Until we started this While researching the that they have to wear masks project, I was one of the peoreport released last month, if they do not get the vaccine. ple out there heavily promotOsterholm said, the authors By 2020, U.S. health leaders ing influenza vaccine use. It discovered a recurring error in want 80 percent of the popula- was only with this study that I influenza vaccine studies that tion to get yearly shots. looked and said, ‘What are we led to an exaggeration of the For vaccine manufacturers, doing?’” it’s a bonanza: Influenza shots He still considers himself Please see FLU, Page 30 — given every year, unlike many other vaccines — are a multibillion-dollar global business. But how good are they? Last month, in a step tantamount to heresy in the public health world, scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota released a report saying that influenza vaccinations provide only modest protection for healthy young and middle-age adults, and little if any protection for those 65 and older, who are most likely to succumb to the illness or its James R Miears D.D.S., P.C. complications. Moreover, the report’s authors concluded, federal vaccination recommendations, which have expanded Ronald M Teel D.D.S., P.C. in recent years, are based on inadequate evidence and poorly executed studies. 1919 Lathrop St. STE: 211 “We have overpromoted Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 and overhyped this vaccine,” said Michael T. Osterholm, Excellence in Dentistry. director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, as well as its Center of Excellence for Influenza Phone: (907) 452-1866 Research and Surveillance. “It does not protect as promoted. Fax: (907) 456-1267 It’s all a sales job: It’s all public relations.” Osterholm, who says he Good Oral Health is a key is concerned that confidence contributor to great overall health. in current vaccines deters research into identifying more effective agents, comes from Schedule your comprehensive dental the world of public health and the Centers for Disease Conexam today! trol and Prevention. A bioter-

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

be less effective at preventing influenza in the elderly, Bresee said, that is the population most susceptible to the Continued from Page 29 disease and at highest risk. Anywhere from as few as vaccine’s effectiveness. They 3,000 to as many as 49,000 also discovered 30 inaccuracies in the statement on influ- Americans die of influenza enza vaccines put forth by the each year, some 90 percent of them elderly. expert panel that develops The new report from the vaccine recommendations, all Center for Infectious Disease of which favor the vaccine. CDC officials acknowledge Research and Policy is not the that the vaccines do not work first to point out the shortcomings of influenza vaccines, as well in the elderly populahowever. The Cochrane Coltion as they do in younger laboration, an international healthy adults. But, they say, network of experts that evaluthe effectiveness of the flu shots, which are reformulated ates medical research, concluded in a 2010 review that every year in an attempt to match the strains most likely the vaccines decrease symptoms in healthy adults under to be circulating that season, varies depending on the popu- 65 and save people about a half-day of work on average, lation being inoculated and but that they do not affect the the year. number of people hospital“Does it work as well as the measles vaccine? No, and ized and have minimal impact it’s not likely to. But the vac- in seasons when vaccines and viruses are mismatched. cine works,” said Dr. Joseph (When the vaccine matches Bresee, chief of epidemiology the circulating viruses, 33 and prevention in the CDC’s adults need to be vaccinated influenza division. to avoid one set of influenza And research is advancing to improve the effectiveness of symptoms; when there is only a partial match, 100 people the vaccine. must be vaccinated for the Although the vaccine may

FLU: Findings

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same effect.) It was also concluded that the vaccines appear to have no effect on hospital admissions, transmission or rates of complications. A separate Cochrane review on vaccines for the elderly determined the evidence was so scant and of such poor quality that it could not provide guidance. Bresee of the CDC pointed to only one randomized controlled trial of influenza vaccine in older people, and it looked at people age 60 and over in the Netherlands healthy enough to not be hospitalized or in a nursing home. Another Cochrane review found no evidence that vaccinating health care workers who work with the elderly has any effect on influenza or pneumonia deaths. “Not having evidence doesn’t prove it doesn’t work; we just don’t know,” said Dr. Roger Thomas, a Cochrane Collaboration coordinator for the University of Calgary in Alberta, who was an author of both of the reviews. “The intelligent decision would be to have large, publicly funded independent trials.” But those may never be conducted on the elderly, in large part because of the way the vaccine was promulgated. Initially developed for soldiers and approved in 1945, the vaccine was approved for civilian use a year later. In 1960, the surgeon general, Leroy E. Burney recommended vaccinating three high-risk groups: pregnant women, the chronically ill and people 65 and over, Osterholm said. Once that recommendation was made, scientists felt that it would be unethical to run a trial that would essentially deny a recommended vaccine to participants assigned to the placebo group. CDC officials say population-based studies show that elderly people who get flu shots are less likely to die of any cause than elderly people who do not get them. Critics say these studies suffer from what’s called the healthy vaccine recipient effect and prove only that older people who are in good health and take care of themselves go to the doctor regularly — and get flu shots.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Associated Press file photo

A cheerleader from Nampa High School is thrown into the air as the cheer squad practices stunts before a game in Nampa, Idaho. In a new policy statement in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics says school sports associations should designate cheerleading as a sport, and make it subject to safety rules.

Cheerleading needs sports safety rules, doctors say By LINDSEY TANNER AP Medical Writer

author of the new policy. But she said cheerleading often results in injuries that include severe sprains, broken arms and legs, neck injuries and concussions. Please see CHEER, Page 32

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Stephen H. Sutley, DDS, MA ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEON Alaska Oral & Facial Surgery Center Inc. 1275 Sadler Way, Suite 202 Fairbanks, Alaska (907) 452-4101

Dental Implants – Are They Right For You? With the exception of growing children, dental implants can benefit people of all ages. Implants can provide the replacement of missing teeth without compromising adjacent permanent teeth. They are especially beneficial for stabilizing ill-fitting dentures which are difficult to wear. What Are Dental Implants? Dental implants are screw-like structures made of titanium, which is a metal that the body easily accepts. Similar in function to a tooth, a dental implant can be used to replace a single missing tooth, support a bridge or serve as a foundation and support for denture(s). Treatment Planning for Dental Implants: Generally, a team approach is composed of the patient, restorative dentist and the surgeon. The process begins with a clinical examination, radiographic evaluation and review of health history and medication(s). Loss of Dentition: Unfortunately, with the loss of teeth, bone deterioration of the jaw will occur and may require bone grafting. This can result in areas difficult to clean and maintain as well as esthetically unacceptable. Loss of bony ridges to support dentures can result in the inability to wear dentures successfully. This can lead to malnutrition. Replacing missing teeth with implants in a timely manner can prevent this bone deterioration from occuring. Implant Placement: Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure which is done with local anesthesia. Oral or IV sedation can be utilized in an effort to minimize your anxiety and discomfort during and after surgery. Dental implants are surgically placed in the jaw bone. Over a period of three to six months, the implant will safely fuse with the jawbone to form a secure base upon which a crown can be placed or to support a denture. Restorative Phase: After appropriate healing time of the implant(s), your restorative dentist will complete the final preplanned treatment. Dental Implant Success Rate: While success rates do vary depending on the individual patient, implants have an overall 95% success rate. Poor oral hygiene and smoking can definitely lower the success rate of bone grafting and implant procedures. Find more detailed information on

Our thanks to Dr. Stephen Sutley for contributing this column. The article is intended to be strictly informational.


Please Call for an Appointment 452-1622


CHICAGO — Cheerleading isn’t just jumping and waving pompoms — it has become as athletic and potentially as dangerous as a sport and should be designated one to improve safety, the nation’s leading group of pediatricians says. The number of cheerleaders injured each year has climbed dramatically in the last two decades. Common stunts that pose risks include tossing and flipping cheerleaders in the air and creating human pyramids that reach 15 feet high or more. In a new policy statement released online Oct. 22 in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics says school sports associations should designate cheerleading as a sport, and make it subject to safety rules and better supervision. That would include on-site athletic trainers, limits on practice time and better qualified coaches, the academy says. Just like other athletes, cheerleaders should be required to do conditioning exercises and undergo physical exams before joining the squad, the new policy says. “Not everyone is fully aware of how cheerleading has evolved over the last cou-

ple of decades. It used to be just standing on the sidelines and doing cheers and maybe a few jumps,” said Dr. Cynthia LaBella, a sports medicine specialist at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital and an



Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

High praise can backfire with underachievers By SYLVIA RIMM Q: My daughter is a high school junior who gets good grades, has a nice set of friends and seems very well adjusted. She is also a varsity soccer player. Last year was her first year on varsity and she only played

in about 40 percent of the games and was frustrated with the amount of playing time that she got. This year, she is a starter, except she’s been telling the coach she doesn’t feel well and doesn’t want to play. Soon her starting position will be gone and she will be back to warming the bench, which I know she doesn’t

want. She just doesn’t seem to be putting in the effort to keep the spot. She has always been the kind of kid who didn’t want to be at the top and is happy with third or fourth place. I am worried that this trait will follow her into her adult life. What can or should I do? A: Underachievement in soccer

is much like underachievement in schoolwork. Your daughter is afraid to put forth effort because she feels pressure to be the best, and afraid that even if she puts forth effort, she won’t be as good as you expect her to be. You probably intend to encourage her by praising her Please see ACHIEVE, Page 35

CHEER: Last year, there were almost 37,000 ER visits from cheerleading Continued from Page 31

Last year, there were almost 37,000 emergency room visits for cheerleading injuries among girls aged 6 to 22, according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That’s more

than four times higher than in 1980, when cheerleading was tamer. While there are still traditional cheerleading squads that support schools’ athletic teams, some schools and private clubs have separate cheerleading teams that com-

Alexandria Montgomery

Boys and Girls Home of Alaska, Inc.

Burton Carriker

Alexandria Montgomery is a certified nurse midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner specializing in low-risk obstetrics and gynecology. She joined Dr. Peter Lawrason’s OB/GYN office in the summer of 2010. Alexandria offers expertise in adolescent and teen health along with care of the pregnant woman. Alexandria attends births at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital while still allowing women to labor naturally. While in labor, women can walk, eat, and move around – with or without an IV and without Alexandria N. Montgomery, continuous fetal monitoring. While some of ANP, WHNP-C, CNM her patients choose an epidural for pain management, Alexandria assists most of her clients through the natural labor process. She is married and has four children. In her spare time, Alexandria enjoys winter activities and playing softball.

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on her head. She blacked out for several minutes. Her father, Dave Wald, said her coaches didn’t realize she was seriously injured and never called an ambulance. She still has short-term memory loss and can’t attend school full-time because of dizziness,

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Peter D. Lawrason, M.D.

pete against other teams. Kali Wald of Elburn, Ill., suffered a serious concussion last year during an acrobatic routine with her high school’s competitive team; teammates tossed her in the air but she landed wrong twice, first on her upper back and neck, then

headaches and other concussion symptoms. Kali, 18, said she believes cheerleading should be considered a sport and made safer. Her father agreed and said there needs to be better awareness about the rigors of cheerleading and the potential risks. Injuries have increased as cheerleading has become more popular. Data suggest there are more than 3 million cheerleaders nationwide aged 6 and older, mostly girls. That includes about 400,000 in high school, according to data cited in the new policy. While the overall injury rate in high school cheerleading is lower than in other girls sports, including gymnastics, soccer and field hockey, the rate of catastrophic injuries like skull fractures and paralyzing spine injuries is higher, the academy noted. Kasey Bronstein, 14, and her sister Kori, 17, of Mahwah, N.J., both tore a knee tendon while cheerleading for a private competitive team run by their parents. They twisted their knees doing acrobatic moves while standing on the raised-up hands of their teammates. They had knee surgery last November, followed by extensive physical therapy, and have returned to cheerleading. Both said it should be considered a sport but they also think it’s already pretty safe. “They’re kind of making it too safe, taking out skills that are very exciting to do,” Kori said. That includes a double flip stunt no longer allowed on her team.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Very Special Events Mark your calendar! NAMI of Fairbanks National Alliance on Mental Health

Santa's Clearing House

is holding a

Second Chance Silent Auction to raise operating and program funds

NAMI Office • 565 University Avenue • Suite 3A

OPENING FRIDAY, NOV. 23 Our 61st year!


Thursdsay, November 8 • 5-8 p.m.

Each year the residents of Fairbanks volunteer time and give donations to help those in need during the holiday season with food and gifts for families and seniors. A great place to volunteer! Watch for details.

For information, please call: 456-4704

HOURS: Support groups are made up of people with common interests and experiences. People who have been through, or are going through, a similar circumstance can do more than sympathize with you — they can relate to what you are going through and keep you from feeling like you are alone.

Call Nicole Davidge 459-7549


Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Access Alaska Support Group Schedule

Head Injury Support 1st and 3rd Monday of each month, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

TEAMS: Sign Up Now!

VIP (Visually Impaired Person) Support Group 1st Tuesday of each month, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Effie Kokrine Early College Charter School

MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Support Group 2nd Wednesday of each month, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

8th Annual Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament

Wall Buster Advocacy 2nd and 4th Monday of each month 2nd Monday, 12:30-2:00 p.m. 4th Monday, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Tournament Dates: Friday, Nov. 23 – Sunday, Nov. 25 Come cheer on your favorite team at Ryan Middle School! Volunteers always welcome!

American Sign Language Lunch Bring your own lunch Every Tuesday, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Parent Advocacy 3rd Tuesday of each Month, 5:30–7:00 p.m.


Please direct questions to Linda Evans or Irene Kangas at 474-0958 Admission: $6 Adults ~ $4 Students/Elders See you at the Tourney! NO DRUGS/ALCOHOL ALLOWED ~ THIS IS A FUN FAMILY EVENT



For additional information and to confirm dates and times please call 479-7940


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Embracing children’s differences important to well-being By JANE E. BRODY The New York Times

up shoes with rhinestones and, at 3, asked to be “a disco yady” for Halloween. Contrary to what some parJoseph loved words and ents might believe or hope for, books, but “our attempts to children are not born a blank get him into sports, which slate. Rather, they come into Sam had loved so much, were the world with predetermined frustrating bordering on abilities, proclivities and tem- the disastrous,” Schwartz, a peraments that nurturing par- national correspondent for ents may be able to foster or The New York Times, wrote modify, but can rarely reverse. in a caring and instructive Perhaps no one knows this new memoir, “Oddly Normal: better than Jeanne and John One Family’s Struggle to Help Schwartz, parents of three Their Teenage Son Come to children, the youngest of Terms with his Sexuality” whom — Joseph — is different (Gotham Books). from the other two. “This is not just a book Offered a bin of toys, their about raising a gay child,” daughter, Elizabeth, picked Schwartz said in an interview. out the Barbies and their son “It’s about raising children Sam the trucks. But Joseph, who are different,” both like his sister, ignored the recognizing and adapting to trucks and chose the dolls, those differences and being which he dressed with great advocates for the children who care. He begged for pink light- possess them. Citing the novel

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bent. But, as attested to in many memoirs, forcing children to follow a prescribed formula almost always backfires. For example, everyone in my family is a jock, with a strong belief in the importance of physical activity. Everyone, that is, except one of my four The goal of parenting grandsons. Now 10, he is an should be to raise children intellectual, and has been with a healthy self-image and since age 3, when he learned self-esteem, ingredients vital the entire world’s atlas of to success in school and life. animals. He absorbs scientific That means accepting children information like a sponge and the way they are born — gay retains it. He can tell you or straight, athletic or cereabout deep-sea creatures, bral, gentle or tough, highly planets and stars, chemical intelligent or less so, scrawny reactions, exotic caterpillars, or chubby, shy or outgoing, geological formations — you good eaters or picky ones. name it — and he’s a whiz at Of course, to the best of the computer. But he has no their ability, parents should athletic interest or apparent give children opportunities to ability. His parents have introlearn and enjoy activities that duced him to a variety of team might be outside their natural and individual sports, but so

“The Martian Child,” about an adopted son, he said, “We’ve got to take care of our little Martians.”

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far none has clicked. Rather than try to remake him into someone he is not, the challenge for all of us is to appreciate and adapt to his differences, love him for who he is and not disparage him for what he is not. While the other three boys get basketballs, bicycles and tennis rackets as gifts, for his 10th birthday I gave him a huge book on the universe, which became his bedtime reading.

Lives enriched One persuasive voice for differences in children and how families must adapt better is Andrew Solomon, author of an ambitious new book, “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity,” published this month by Scribner. Solomon, a gay man who has fathered four children, one of whom he is raising with his husband, has explored in depth the challenges and rewards of family diversity. Solomon, who has written articles for The Times, interviewed more than 300 families, most of whom have successfully raised children who are deaf, dwarfs, autistic, schizophrenic, transgender, are prodigies or have Down syndrome, as well as those who were conceived in rape or became criminals. He makes a strong case for accepting one’s children for who they are and, at the same time, helping them become the best they can be. Especially poignant is his account of a family with a high-functioning son with Down syndrome. For years, the boy progressed academically on pace with his peers and was a poster child for what a person with Down syndrome could do. But when the son could go no further, his mother recognized that he needed to be in a group home. “We had worked so hard to make him the Down syndrome guy who didn’t need it,” the mother told Solomon. “But I had to look at what was best for him, and not some ideal we had built up for ourselves.” Please see DIFFERENCES, Page 35


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

... Unfortunately, high praise backfires for underachievers. To them it feels like you have impossible expectations for them.

ACHIEVE: Less pressure Continued from Page 32

Dr. Sylvia B. Rimm is the director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the author of many books on parenting. More information on raising kids is available at Please send questions to: Sylvia B. Rimm on Raising Kids, P.O. Box 32, Watertown, WI 53094 or srimm@

Continued from Page 34

“When you Most of the parents interviewed found a lot of meaning expect your kids and many rewards in dealing with a child who was different. to fit into a mold, “They told me it has given them a so much richer life that especially a mold they wouldn’t have given it up for all the world,” Solomon said. “There are many ways to of your own makexist in this world and many ing, you’ll be disapdifferent ways to be happy.” As Schwartz described pointed.” Joseph: “He’s a delightful guy, a joy. I couldn’t have made that mold. You can’t — John Schwartz, author expect your kids to turn out as of “Oddly Normal: One Family’s you planned, but you can be Struggle to Help Their Teenage thrilled by how they turn out.” Son Come to Terms with his He added: “You want your Sexuality” children to achieve and be comfortable with who they are. You should advocate for them and help them develop schools dealing effectively with the skills to advocate for them- bullying, he said. selves. But parents shouldn’t “Jeanne and I believe try to mold their children. schools can do a lot with When you expect your kids to fit into a mold, especially a mold of your own making, you’ll be disappointed.” Schools, too, should know how to accommodate children who are different, said Schwartz, whose book details the struggles his son faced even in a town with great schools. It’s not just a matter of Gail A. McCann,

the resources they have to embrace differences in kids and recognize when they are unduly stressed,” he said. Even with accepting and encouraging parents, Joseph Schwartz was unable for years to acknowledge his gay identity, which resulted in serious academic, social and psychological problems. Each of Solomon’s families also faced identity struggles, and many were helped greatly by finding peers with similar challenges, a task made so much easier by the Internet. For many parents, he said, raising children who were different was “an occasion for growth that introduced them to social networks they never imagined.” He said, “It added richness to the lives of those who said they could see a positive side to having a child who was different.”


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excellent ability, but unfortunately, high praise backfires for underachievers. To them it feels like you have impossible expectations for them. Encourage her to take the focus off of herself and concentrate on becoming an asset to her team by working hard and following the coach’s instruction. Her job should be to look for ways to use her position, whether offense or defense, to help her team do well. What that actually looks like on the field will vary depending on what she is being asked to do. It should relieve some of the pressure she is feeling if she is reminded to enjoy game play, do her best, and allow the outcome to speak for itself. As her confidence builds up again as a player, she will feel better, and may gradually become a leader on the team. The very same words you’re using with your daughter might work beautifully with a girl who has more confidence, but you’ll have to ease your anxious daughter into understanding how she can help her team win rather than pushing her to reach for something that feels unattainable to her. Even if she never becomes a team leader, you and she will be happy to see her putting in full effort toward becoming a good team member. Furthermore, her coach will see her value to the team and praise her appropriately. If you place your expectations on her efforts and hard work and don’t expect as much of her, her talents will emerge gradually, and she’ll get better than

she thinks she can, although she may never be “the best.” One more thought: Another way to encourage your daughter’s growth as a player is to have her assist in coaching youth soccer, or officiating children’s park and recreation games. If she really loves the game, sharing her passion with younger players will encourage her to hone her own skills, be strategic in the game and build her confidence as well.

DIFFERENCES: Be your child’s advocate


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Not everything grows equally.

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Health and Wellness  
Health and Wellness  

Health and Wellness issue focusing on children's health.